Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
LISTED conglomerate Meikles Limited’s revenue grew by 12 percent to $254 million in the half year ended September 30, 2017 compared to $225.9 million in the previous period.
During the period the group’s profit before tax was $5.4 million compared to a $0.7 million loss in the previous period.
In a statement for the period under review, Meikles executive chairman Mr John Moxon said profit before tax was above the result for the full financial year ended March 31, 2017 of $5.3 million.
“Group revenue for the half year ended September 30, 2017 grew by 12 percent to $254 million from $225.9 million in the previous period. The group disposed off its financial services operation on August 31, 2017,” he said.
Meikles’ total assets as at September 30, 2017 stood at $290.1 million up from $282.6 million as at March 31, 2017.
Total liabilities also increased from $154 million in March 2017 to $159.8 million as at the end of September 2017. An analysis of the group’s financial results also shows that as at September 30, 2017, Meikles Limited was in a sound financial position as it was still able to meets its short-term obligations.
The diversified group operates businesses in the retail, agriculture and hospitality sectors. From the retail sector, the group owns TM Supermarkets trading as TM and Pick n’ Pay, Meikles stores and Meikles Mega Market.
TM and Pick n’ Pay revenue for the period amounted to $232 million reflecting a growth of 15 percent from $202 million in the previous period.
In the agriculture sector, it is involved in tea, avocado, and macadamia nuts production. Revenue under this sector grew by 26 percent to $12.9 million from $10.2 million achieved during the six months ended September 30, 2016.
“Bulk tea production of 3 077 tonnes was 37 percent higher than 2 251 tonnes produced in the comparative prior year period. A total of 629 tonnes of avocadoes were exported compared to 127 tonnes in the previous season. Macadamia nuts sales of 192 tonnes for the six months to September 2017 were 19 percent higher than 162 tonnes for the six months to September 2016,” said Mr Moxon.
From its hospitality operation, the revenues grew by 13 percent to $8.7 million with the growth primarily attributed to a surge in tourist arrivals in Victoria Falls.
“New airlines commenced flights to Victoria Falls during the period under review. Room occupancy grew by 4.59 and 13.14 percentage points at Meikles Hotel and Victoria Falls Hotel respectively. The average room rate grew marginally at Victoria Falls Hotel,” said Mr Moxon
At Meikles Hotel, the average room rate declined by seven percent as the mix of business during the period was dominated by conference groups.